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Crossrail not transparent enough, says Bill Committee

The Crossrail Bill Committee has reported on the progress of Crossrail through the committee stages, and concluded that the public do not know enough about how the project will affect them.

The Crossrail Bill Committee had the task of hearing petitions from parties who believe that the project would negatively affect them.

The Committee has the power to alter the Bill, subject to Government approval, based on the strength of the petitions. It has now issued a report into the Committee stages of the Bill.

While the Committee recognised the benefits of the project, it said that the project was not sufficiently transparent.

"Even before construction begins this scheme has blighted the homes of hundreds of people living on the proposed route

"Whilst we are now aware of the extensive information available describing the Crossrail scheme and its expected impacts, we remain concerned that members of the public may struggle to locate information that is relevant to them.

"Every person affected by the Crossrail Bill has the right to understand what it will mean for them and their area. The Promoters must take steps now and at every stage of this process to ensure that information provided to the public is clear, accessible and comprehensive," reads the report.

Speaking yesterday, Alan Meale MP, Chairman of the Select Committee said, "This report is the culmination of twenty-two months hard work. My Committee sat up to three times a day to ensure that it could hear all the concerns of those who petitioned against the Bill.

"The Select Committee hearings followed a quasi-judicial procedure which allowed us to listen to the cases of people directly affected by the Crossrail Bill and amend the Bill to further protect them if we judged this necessary," he said.

While most of the proposed changes were accepted, the Government and the Bill Committee came to blows last year over the proposed station at Woolwich.

"We were pleased that the Secretary of State followed the request of the Committee and brought forward the necessary amendments to build a station at Woolwich and in the Report we reiterate our view that the station at this site is and must remain central to the project," said Meale.

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